i am thankful for life.
i am thankful for love.
i am thankful for my noisy home filled with kids, family & dogs.
i am thankful for resilience.
i am thankful for you.
pictures of jonas (9) and moses (8) taken the morning of thanksgiving 2012 outside in our front yard.
first i must say thank you to everyone who emailed and left such sweet comments! i can't put into words how much it means to us.
secondly i wanted to share some fun news about tinyprints
! the boys and some of my clients have been featured all year on their site and with the launch of their new holiday cards you can find them in the tinyprints print catalog as well. the boys think they are famous and i know they are rockstars so it's a win win!
i have some exciting news to share that as clients and blog readers of mine you can use this code FNFBB46XBC to receive 25% off all stationary products. the code is good for up to 500 uses until 12.31.12. so with the holidays coming up it's a perfect fit!
Enjoy 25% off stationery using the code at checkout. There is no minimum purchase required for this promotion. This promotion code is applicable to stationery products only. Offer is not applicable to shipping, taxes, rush processing charges, and excludes gifts, photo gifts, photo books, calendars, gift certificates, and Erin Condren planners. This promotion code cannot be combined with other offers. Offer is only valid on Tiny Prints and is not applicable on treat.com, third party or partner websites. To prevent abuse, we reserve the right to discontinue or modify this offer at any time without notice. We reserve the right to cancel any order at any time. Offer expires 12/31/12 at 11:59 pm (PT).
it has been quite a while since i have blogged. much has happened here over the course of the last two months. i have struggled with the idea of blogging my personal story and have gone back and forth between if it should be addressed on my blog or if i should start blogging where i left off skipping over the fact i have been 'missing in action' for a month. but the more i thought about it the more i was reminded of my clients who share their most personal stories and days with me and i began to see that not sharing would feel disingenuous to who i am, what i love, and what i am about.
i have been looking forward to october all year. i have, in fact, been looking forward to october since last october when i photographed the brown betty cookbook. i couldn't wait until it came out - to see all of the hard work in pages of a book that i could find on bookshelves and sold on amazon and of course a book with my name ever so small on the cover. i had been counting down the days to the book release party that was on 10.17.
2012 has had some really exciting moments for me, geoff and i traveled to aspen and shot a beautiful wedding in a blizzard there. we spent the first new year in our new home and i even came in first place in the PDN top knots contest. but overall i hadn't felt well. i couldn't put my finger on it but something was off. i blamed it on all sorts of things : my schedule was crazy, the summer had been too hot, or i just hadn't gotten enough sleep the night before. but overall i wasn't myself and i knew it.
fast forward to the book release party for the book - it was so much fun. it was an amazing turn out and i loved hearing people rave about how wonderful the bakery was and how fantastic the cookbook was. so many of our friends turned out and it was just such a special evening to share something so beautiful. the next morning i woke up and i couldn't see. as in i couldn't see. no joke or exaggeration. when i was challenged with viewing the large 'E' that every optometrist has I could only make out a very faint vertical line. i had never been so scared in my life. a trip to the emergency room and a cat scan later showed that i had a half dollar sized brain tumor sitting on my optic nerve. i wish i could tell you that it was like the movies where suddenly some great soundtrack started to play and my life was played in slow motion while i was talking to the doctor and being wheeled into the operating room. it was more like complete shock and uncontrollable sobbing. specialist after specialist came into my room and finally when my surgeon walked in and she explained the gravity of the situation and that they had to do surgery right then at that moment or else - i said yes.
geoff held my hand as i was whisked out of the hospital room through the hallways of the hospital. he won't want to admit this but he was crying just as much as i was. jonas and moses were at school and i was trying to remember the last time i saw them and what i said. was it inspiring? was it more than just 'did you drink your milk?' if something didn't go right what would their last memory of me be? my mind was all over the place - looking back i am glad that i had no time to comprehend what was happening. the moment my family heard they were in their cars driving hundreds of miles to get to me. it took three hours for them to perform the surgery. it took three hours for me to wake up. the first question i had was 'did the surgery work?' the surgeon had explained prior that i was lucky because of the placement of the tumor they were able to go through my nose but if for some reason there was a complication they would have had to perform a craniotomy.
thankfully they were able to remove the entire tumor through my nose. i later woke up in the neuro ICU where i spent the next 6 days. once the drugs wore off everyone started asking me if i could see. since i couldn't get out of bed i used a clock on the wall in front of me as my gauge. i would close the left eye... i could see the clock. i would close the right eye... i could see. they had removed the entire tumor and i received my vision back : something that was never promised to me.
i was released directly from the ICU - something that doesn't always happen. however when i got home it was just in time for hurricane sandy. we lost our power for a week. with the chaos of the power loss and trying to come to terms with everything that happened i didn't notice that i was starting to have what i thought was a runny nose. my post-op appointment had been pushed back a week due to mother nature and you can imagine our surprise when my surgeon told us we had to immediately leave her office and report back to the emergency room because i had a cerebral fluid leak. i spent another seven days in the hospital due to the complications from the surgery.
but i am home now. i am feeling like myself now. this experience has taught me so many things. for starters i feel like i have a second chance. the tumor is benign. the tumor is not one that will ever grow back. i have my sight. i will be able to see my children grow up and watch to see what they look like when they are 17 and watch them in their cap and gowns one day as they graduate from school. i never thought i took things like this for granted but now more than ever i am reminded how lucky i am.
i am sharing this story with you because this has been our life for the past month. and i hope that it isn't something that would dissuade you from choosing geoff and i to be your photographer. we have each experienced something that has changed us forever but i would say for the better. no one is ever guaranteed a life without road blocks. we all have our own triumphs and struggles. this particular struggle has made me stronger. it has made geoff and i stronger.
this weekend was our first wedding back. i can't even tell you how wonderful it felt to be back - doing something that i love. now more than ever i know how important happy moments are. times when everyone in the world that you love is around you. these are the great times. i can't wait to share the photos from the weekend and all of the pretty pictures i have to catch up on. i do have to say a special thank you for the photographers who filled in for me while i was healing. i am so grateful for the close knit group that i can call friends and who are amazing photographers. they stepped in and filled in the blanks when we couldn't. i would do the same for them if needed.
thanksgiving is right around the corner. and my list of things that i am giving thanks for this year are many.